General Question

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Why are cameras not allowed in public archives?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (24158points) August 19th, 2021

I was told that the flash damages the parchment?

What is the reason?

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11 Answers

snowberry's avatar

You could have cameras without flash. That doesn’t make sense.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But would you trust the public to not use a flash @snowberry?

snowberry's avatar

Hmmm. This explanation sounds about right, and typical for how people think and work. It would be funny if it wasn’t so real.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s just dumb @Snowberry! :)

Anyway, if you read his details he was referring to things written on parchment, like the Constitution, or some ancient scrolls. I can imagine a flash compromising the ancient ink or something.

snowberry's avatar

The fact is we don’t know. We are going on somebody’s opinion which the “experts” have deemed to be true. Apparently there are no studies regarding ancient inks, except for a comment about Egyptian art being exposed to the harsh sunlight of the Egyptian desert.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Can you provide a link to what you’re saying?
Most Egyptian art was located indoors, not baking in the desert sun.

Inspired_2write's avatar

I am beginning to wonder if its just a way to sell products ( copies of which THEY photographed themselves) to make Revenue.

Wnet into a n Archives a few years ago to look up old records of which the secuirty desk only allowed few paople at at ime to enter a locked room.

We were not allowed pens, cameras, phones etc

ONLY one tiny pencil that they gave to each who entered.

Kind of extreme, but it makes mw wonder in the past DID someone write or cut out documents,photogrpahs and so on to take these drastic mesures?

I was pissed that day when told tht I could NOT get a copy of an old newspaper article , after spending three hours searching for it?
Just too proctective of there holdings and NO other way to get copies?
I left frustrated and tod them at the desk to have it posted in large letters of what we can and cannot do BEFORE we spend three hours of searching only to be told that it can’t be copied?

snowberry's avatar

@Dutchess_III it’s a long article. Scroll all the way down to read the whole thing. Here’s one quote that partially addresses your last question:

Evans points out the irony that, “Curators ban photographing things like Pharaonic Egyptian relics that have been bathed in the intense UV light of desert sunlight for over 3000 years.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

Are you talking about the one you posted above? It’s absurd.

snowberry's avatar

I agree. The whole thing is silly.

kruger_d's avatar

In the case of the Smith exhibit from link above, it is possible that the artist’s heirs retain copyright on his photographs.
Having worked in an art museum, I can also understand that it might affect traffic flow and patron experience.

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